When Licking is the Only Currency a Dog Has by Marc Ruvolo
They pray for a master that enjoys being licked.
They practice licking,
full aware a tongue is a dog's greatest asset.
They carefully monitor the slobber ratio.
They understand the art of the well-timed lick.
A tongue that does not speak is a detriment
when confounded by a world of speaking, ordering,
so, it must be honed sharp, it must be relentless
in the pursuit of skin, of salt,
and on drowsy, stretching mornings
A dog’s mouth is like a human hand
in the way that both use them
to hold on to what little they can.
Marc Ruvolo is a queer writer/musician living in Portland OR. His poems and stories have appeared in Abyss & Apex, Bewildering Stories, and via the Night’s End Horror podcast. Over the course of a thirty-five year music career, he’s released fifty-four records on over a dozen record labels. An admirer of pop culture, he’s still completely outraged at the blatant hypocrisy of the Harper Valley PTA. Twitter: @RuvFur